Sadness is a feeling

A marathon of an emotion, one not easy to endure. It certainly is not my favourite. I do a great happy, relatively OK fear and anger is my energiser. Sad I try to avoid. I just go flat and want to hide. I have no idea of sad’s purpose, it is unfathomable in its uselessness!

Maybe grey skies do affect me – I thought they were just a nice break from constant blue. A different backdrop as it were. Homesickness, yes I get that. I need to call home or find a touch of home wherever I am at that time. And yes, COVIID-sadness is a thing. It comes in waves. COVID tears spill out. They are laced with hopelessness and despair.

I need to reframe sad. Sad as sweet like Eeyore. Sad as power, like the impact of every minor chord I’ve ever heard. Sad as loss – a fallen leaf, an old skin, a relationship broken away, a death in the family. Sad like watching a healing wound, wondering if its scar will ever heal. Sad that cares and whispers, call a friend, go out, buy food. Sad that is soft. That is a quiet voice and not a raging inferno of noise. Sad that says keep going, there is light at the end of this tunnel. Accept, just be, this is a feeling and not a sentence. This too will pass. Take time, hold on slow, watch for the small things. Feel your beauty, know that you are enough.

Orange is a colour

Not a primary one. A complementary one. Basically orange is red and yellow though it is never that simple. The red, of course, may be a blue red or a yellow red, so the orange takes on different hues as the combinations accumulate. Not understanding it, I never liked orange that much in the past. I preferred yellow – all through my childhood, it was my favourite colour when asked. I had a bright yellow cardigan that I wore often, and I was positioned in my father’s landscape photography, adding a spot of colour against the green brown of western NSW or the blue of the Blue Mountains. ‘I need a spot of colour’, he would say and I obliged, ever ready to shine through the Kodachrome wizardry. I was short and round with red hair and the photos were hardly elegant, but now I appreciate the fact that he thought I should be there – well at least as the obligatory spot of colour.

Orange is a colour for restaurants – it whets the appetite and there are global restaurant chains that make good use of the red and yellow. Over time, I have come to appreciate the gentler oranges and yes, it is true, they match my skin tone. But the deep strident oranges still overwhelm me. They are just so bright and so dense. They take over everything in their vicinity. They are just being themselves without any intention of blending in. This is a quality I certainly appreciate, though not necessarily able to manage myself. Blending in means one gets to watch, listen and strategise. That I love. Orange it seems has no time for that. It appears on the scene and can’t be ignored. No introduction needed, it just is.

Now I appreciate the ballsy ‘just is’ nature of orange. I am orange, deal with it. I have a right to be here, get over it. Orange, you brighten up the room, and the world, you teach me every day.

A difficult year

It’s been a difficult year – a year of love and great loss, grief and many journeys along the way. It is early morning now and I sit among blessings – bird song – a view of healing green – a breath of fresh air. Those last five words drip with meaning. Each night when I return home, there are sunsets to welcome me, they lift and spread my heart. The hills too, hold healing. For now, I do not need to move on. Right now, it is enough to be here.

It’s cold .. need a beach!

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Can emergence be planned?

Light bulbs are not going off, it is cold and my brain is sluggish. I would rather be at the beach. It’s hard being in the wintry southern hemisphere when friends are in balmy northern hemisphere places. I check through photo albums looking for flash of insight while lingering longingly at the beaches. O dear – go with it – emergence says think beach, toes in sand, sun on skin, goggles and snorkel on. Alchemy will be back one day.

.PS. It’s cold – how is hat? Remember, the hat. Well, it fell off today, somewhere on the street. I took it off to feel a shimmer of thin sun and dropped it – how does that happen.

PPS. Beaches I have loved – PNG, Broome, Fiji Islands, South Gippsland.

What is it about Paris I

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It must be a Musing Monday for me to even venture this question and “Magic” was the answer when I asked at my favourite hat and jewellery shop, owned by women who are delightfully chic and encourage me in my Parisian adventures.

Paris is magic.  I live by my senses there as I do nowhere else. I am happy in Paris as nowhere else. Moments are memories sinking deep beneath my skin. I sit and drink it all in with a smile as wide as Mona Lisa’s. I am satisfied here as nowhere else and satisfied is a magical place to be.

Soft warm sun; a colour palette that delights; simple foods filling me with respect and awe. A language of struggle but I find help along the way; gentle encounters are everywhere and the crazy encounters delight and linger.  I never feel lonely in Paris; the space between things holds me as if the beauty stretches, as if beauty holds of us together. Beauty is the misty air, the blue of the door, the flow of the Seine. The curve of the cobble, the spread of the butter, the crack of the bread. In Paris I drink the in-between. In Paris I am nourished as nowhere else. I live simply, being simply me.

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Monet refuses the operation

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extract from “Monet refuses the operation” by Lisa Mueller; the lilies of Giverny; lamps in London.

Doctor, you say, there are no haloes / around the streetlights in Paris

and what I see is an aberration /caused by old age, an affliction.

I tell you it has taken me all my life / to arrive at the vision of gas lamps as angels,

to soften and blur and finally banish / the edges you regret I don’t see,

to learn that the line I called the horizon / does not exist and sky and water,

I will not return to a universe / of objects that don’t know each other,

as if islands were not the lost children / of one great continent.

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The world is flux, and light becomes what it touches, / becomes water, lilies on water,

above and below water / becomes lilac and mauve and yellow …

 

 

In a rubberized bag …

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There is a theme emerging – travel, wandering, musing, poems – scattered thoughts and images – best summed up as luggage and overflowing baggage. And I am reminded of Journeys of Simplicity, a (very) charming book by Philip Harnden, noting the packing lists of different travellers on their journeys e.g. John Muir, a Civil War activist, on his thousand mile walk to the Gulf in the late 1800s, packed lightly. I am not known for this!

    In a rubberized bag   

    comb / brush /  towel /  soap

    change of undercothing / copy of Burn’s poems

    Milton’s paradise Lost /  Wood’s Botany  /  small New Testament

     journal /  map / a plant press

Now that is light – though I wonder if he should have packed a copy of ‘When there is no doctor, or dentist’! He travels light but not as light as those among us who wish to live like a leaf on the water. Philip says that, only by going alone in silence, without baggage, can one truly get into the heart of the wilderness. I may need to ditch upwards of 20 kilos from my bag.

I missed my blog

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Work called, life called – I had little time for my blog. Only a handful of days but I noticed and I missed it. My writing journey craves connection. In blogging, we tell stories together. As Brenda Walker muses, the “storyteller doesn’t have a monopoly on the exercise of the imagination; the reader is a storyteller in waiting.” A blog is our conversation.  In blogging we are all makers and as “makers shape into being ..” (Alberto Manguel).

I am a pilgrim searching for connection and “the world is the text I write on my skin”, says Vandana Shiva.

We make, we write and read. Reading, says Brenda Walker, “is a temporary loosening of the ego, when we read we move away from ourselves. .. we dissolve, just a little: we’re pleasurably lost”.

I have missed being lost and away from my moorings, floating in the flow.

My blogging lamp is brought to you from a special time in Le Marais, Paris and the street art was on a pavement just outside the door.